This is an interesting question that a lot of people seem to ask.
When building a home gym, there are only a couple of must-haves. One of them is a Power Rack.
If you don’t take the time to invest in a proper power rack, your strength and muscular development are going to be held back significantly.
Because owning a power cage allows you to do the best barbell exercises that give you the best bang for your buck.
Not only that, most people that train in a home gym aren’t going to have spotters handy for heavier sets.
So yes, in most circumstances, you do need a power rack for your home gym.
Let’s cover the important reasons why owning one is so important!
Here we go!
Table Of Contents
Why Is It So Important To Have A Power Rack?
Owning a power cage in your home gym is the sign of somebody disciplined enough to train hard when nobody is watching.
It’s hard enough for most people to stay motivated going to a commercial gym.
By having a power rack right in your garage, odds are, you’re not going to have as many excuses when it’s time to train.
On top of that, owning a power rack allows you to do the best bang for your buck exercises that build the most muscle and allow you to gain the most strength.
The exercises which require a Power Rack to do are:
- Bench Press
- Overhead Press (depending on how much you can Clean)
- Pull Up
If you don’t have a heavy duty Power Rack with safety bars or even spotter arms, you can’t overload the Squat safely and effectively.
This makes it the most important piece of equipment necessary for a home gym.
I’ve gone over this many times, the Squat is the single most important exercise to get strong and build muscle in your entire body.
If you’re not able to add weight to the bar and do it safely, you’re never going to reach your strength and muscular potential.
This one exercise alone requires a full Power Rack that won’t fold under pressure with heavy weight. Your life literally depends on it!
Other uses for a power rack include the Bench Press and Overhead Press.
Sure, you could buy an entire bench setup for your gym, but that only allows you to do one thing: Bench Press.
It’s not a great way to use limited space or budget for an otherwise expensive garage gym setup.
One other thing you could get if you have both a limited budget, as well as space, is any of the squat stands or half racks available out there.
They have the same functionality but take up less space overall.
Other exercises, such as chinups, and dips; are the best bang for your buck pressing and pulling assistance movements.
Getting stronger at pull ups and dips will make all of your other lifts stronger. This is why buying a power rack or even squat stand with multiple pull up grips, and a dip station is such a good idea.
It opens up the possibilities for more variety in your strength training program.
As for the Overhead Press, you can absolutely Clean the bar from the ground before each set.
In my experience, though, unracking the bar from your squat rack and then pressing it allows you to decrease the risk of injury if you’re not used to cleaning a barbell with proper form.
As you can see, owning a power rack is the most important thing you can possibly do for your training. If you don’t make this the cornerstone of your gym, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Getting As Big & Strong As Possible
I just went over all of the major exercises you can do by using power racks.
Now think of it like this, if you don’t have a power rack, you’re going to be limited by what you can do in a home gym.
Sure, you can buy a set of dumbbells, do tons of cardio, and use bodyweight movements.
The only issue is it’s very hard to get stronger for a long period of time using these.
You can overload things like squats, Romanian deadlifts, bench presses, rows, overhead presses, and others with dumbbells, but only to a certain point.
Doing 150 lb+ Goblet Squats is much harder than you think.
Your upper body holding the dumbbell is going to limit how strong your legs can get.
Using a barbell that’s supported on your upper back allows you to overload the legs much more efficiently.
Check out my guide on the best barbells here if you’re interested in a high-quality barbell for your big lifts!
Bodyweight training is great for beginners trying to build muscle and gain strength, but over time you have to add weight or do more reps.
The diminishing returns become more apparent the stronger you get.
The best way to get stronger is by using big, barbell movements that allow you to add the most weight to the bar.
You’re going to need one of the various squat racks on the market if you want to train safely while doing that.
Also, if you’re unsure how much a standard barbell weighs, this guide will help you out!
This video from Omar Isuf goes over how to squat heavy alone. Using a squat rack is much safer and you can see why based on his video!
Getting stronger is very hard work, if it were easy, everybody would be doing it. Instead, we’re part of a generation that’s much weaker and less physically fit than any other. If you want to get stronger and be better, you have to limit injuries as much as possible.
Squatting a new 1 rep max without a spotter is terrifying if you don’t know what you’re doing. For those that do, it’s a simple process to dump the bar in a way that won’t injure you.
This is why the safety bars on Power Racks are so crucial for being safe. If you need to dump the bar, you simply do it on the safety bars.
It’s the same thing for the Bench Press if you have to dump the weight, the safety bars are there to keep you from dropping the bar on your chest, throat, and other important parts of your body.
If you want to be as strong as possible, you need to push yourself and occasionally train with weights that allow for a small degree of error.
If your bar path on the bench press is off even a little, you can fail the rep altogether.
Owning a power rack for use in a garage gym opens up the possibilities for a ton of barbell exercises without taking up much space at all.
Invest in any of the heavy duty squat racks available, and you’ll be stronger and safer than any other method!
Picking The Correct Power Rack For Your Needs
When it comes to buying the correct power rack, there are a couple of features we’re going to want. If you’re already saving up to buy an awesome power rack that will last forever, you need to buy a great one from the start. That way, you know you have a quality piece of equipment that won’t break down and cause injuries.
Here are the main features I recommend for a quality Power Rack:
- Weight Capacity: 1,000 lbs minimum. I don’t care how strong you are. If your max squat is 200, 400, or 600 lbs, you still want to be as safe as possible. This means having the sturdiest power rack possibly. You want it to be so strong there’s no possible way for your squat rack to fail. This is a matter of life and death. You can be seriously injured if any of your equipment doesn’t hold up to the weight you’re using.
- J-hooks/safeties that support at least 600-800 lbs. If your rack supports 1000 lbs but your J-hooks and safety bars only support half of that, you’re looking at a major headache or injury down the line. I recommend you get a rack that supports at least 600 lbs. Most people will never use this much weight in their life, but that’s why getting something overboard like this will keep you much safer! Also, make sure you have high quality J-hooks with some spotter arms at the very least. This will keep you safe while racking and unracking the bar.
- Dip Attachment included. Most power racks have a dip attachment or some type of dip station you can add on. Which is pretty great for adding dips to your routine. This isn’t the most important addition, but it’s a huge bonus, so try to get one.
- Neutral Grip Pull Up bar. Variety is the spice of life, as they say. Most pull up bars built into power racks are a single bar that allows you to do pull ups and chinups but not much else. I recommend getting a power cage or even a half rack with a neutral grip pull up bar to allow for neutral grip pull ups. This will even make things such as hanging leg raises easier to work with.
As you can see, I only have a couple of main features necessary to maximize safety and give you the best bang for your buck.
Here are a few of the main ones I recommend that have all of these features at different price points based on your budget.
Check out my guide on the Best Power Racks if you’re interested in seeing a more complete list!
REP PR-1100 Home Gym Power Rack
PR-4000 Power Rack
REP PR-5000 V2 Power Rack
As you can see, there are a multitude of reasons why having a Power Rack is an absolute must! Not only will you be safer, but you’ll be stronger and save time/money doing exercises that don’t deliver anywhere near as much.
If you have Power Racks you had in mind for your own home gym, definitely leave a comment below and I’ll help you decide on the best ones.
I hope you all enjoyed! Definitely don’t skimp on a solid Power Rack, getting stronger safely is much easier with them. They’ll tie your entire home gym together and make your strength training much more effective over your entire training career.
Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Until next time,